New Zealand’s problem with tourist drivers was highlighted recently when four tourists were convicted in Queenstown District Court.
The Otago Daily Times reported that all four drivers had crossed the centre lines of major routes to Queenstown, forcing oncoming drivers to take evasive action.
A German tourist was caught weaving on to the wrong side of the road on a section of State Highway 6 called the Devil’s Staircase. He told police he was taking photos of the scenery – 22 with his phone’s camera – as he drove along. He was disqualified from driving for six months, fined $800 and ordered to pay $130 court costs.
An American tourist was caught by police driving at 157kmh as he passed two vehicles, including a large truck, while driving from Queenstown to Te Anau on State Highway 94. He told police he had not realised another vehicle was in front of the truck and had to speed up to avoid an accident. He was disqualified for six months and fined $700, with $130 court costs.
An Indian tourist on honeymoon was driving so poorly on Crown Range Road that members of the public phoned the police and provided a running commentary. He crossed the centre line on the treacherous mountain road numerous times, including double-yellow lines at least five times. He was disqualified for six months, fined $1000, with $130 costs.
Finally, an Australian tourist crossed the centre line on the windy Kawarau Gorge Rd more than 30 times, forcing other vehicles to ‘‘pull hard left” to avoid colliding with her. She had also been seen driving poorly from Christchurch. She was disqualified for six months, fined $800, with $130 costs.